Three things happen when a hard candy candy is opened and left uncovered. 1) it will get dirty, of course, 2) melt gradually, and 3) will be gathered by the busy ants.
Ants love sweet. Place a few sugar crystals on table and they gather it in no time, provided that conditions are favorable to them, no rains and no insecticides.
Any hard candy will melt gradually when exposed to air. Water in form of water vapors bind to sugar molecules. this causes dilution and loss of hardness. Nothing but a syrup.
I bought two lollipops. Unwrapped them both. I placed one in my mouth. Hmmm… sweet! I placed the other one on table. I rarely use the table so it was fine to leave the hard candy there.
Month of April. I was seeing many busy ants on the run and gathering every food they can carry. Seemed stacking foods for the coming rainy season.
Few seconds after placing the candy on table, one black ant came near. This one was fast.
After five minutes, there were three ants working on surface.
Still more ants were coming near after 30 minutes. Information relay was working efficiently. I left the lollipop and did other chores.
I visited the candy after 24 hours. The melting was evident. A thick syrup was flowing down.The rough candy surface became smooth and shiny. Black were still gathering sweets.
After six days. More than half of the candy was melted and the syrup was less viscous than before. Ants were still working on surface like miners. They managed digging few holes on lollipop – notice the holes on bottom part of image. Unfortunates were trapped in sticky liquid and never able to walk out.
Some syrup will be absorbed by the table’s wooden surface. More will be gathered by ants to their colony. I wish all of us are as industrious as these ants.
On the 9th day, ants were able to haul sugar crystals faster than melting. No syrup was visible on table. The lollipop was gone on 11th day.